Friday, January 31, 2020

So You're Going to be a Daddy!

When becoming a new mom you find yourself overwhelmed with advice and “how to books” and “what to expect when you’re expecting.” You rarely see books for dads. Becoming a new dad can be overwhelming too. Sometimes for the first couple of months dads are on the side lines patiently waiting and maybe wondering how they can help out. I remember my husband felt helpless because he couldn’t really feed JR because we decided to breastfeed and every time he cried he would only calm down when I held him.  He just didn’t know how to help and was constantly asking me if I was okay or if I needed anything. Don’t get me wrong, those two simple questions meant the world to this sleep deprived, sore nippled mama. But for a guy who was an only child for most of his life, he
wasn’t quite sure how to help out besides changing a diaper or two. As we begin our journey as parents of two, I started to think of my husband and how far he has come as a dad. He is actually cooking full meals now, not just the ones from the freezer section, he’s giving JR baths, and watches him pretty much every Saturday alone while mommy works. He’s become so much more confident and I have no doubt that this second time around Super Dad will be in full affect. With that in mind, I thought it would be beneficial to provide some helpful/ thoughtful acts a new dad can do during the early months of postpartum. Hopefully I am able to help mom get a break, but allow dad time to connect and interact with baby as well. 

On today's blog, I'm sharing a helpful hand for all the new daddy's out there and I have enlisted the help of some of my mommy friends to give you first hand knowledge, from moms, about the best way dad can help postpartum. Feel free to snuggle up to your your hubby and read from my list of helpful hints over your morning coffee, before bedtime, or drop his email below and this list will magically appear in his inbox as a subtle hint from you to him! I hope you get to enjoy some of these helpful hints and for all my dads out there, these are actual acts performed by regular men just like you #noshameintheirgame 

Styled by Stacy: As most of you know, my husband is my high school sweetheart so any little thing he does always impresses me because it shows how much he has matured. The most surprising thing he did postpartum was asking me if I needed anything or making sure I was fed and watered (lol). The littlest things that I usually do for him, he took the lead and did them for me. It was amazing and so helpful. 
The one thing my husband could have done better, be more patient, sexually. (Oh yes I’m going there!) Excuse me while I get a little TMI but after like 2 weeks he was ready to get back in the saddle, if you know what I mean. Please refer to Maddy’s advice below, mama just pushed a human out of her body, she’s tired, sore EVERYWHERE!!, has engorged boobs, sore nipples, the list goes on. Try to initiate anything sexual the first 3 months and I will tell you your wife will kill you! I’m glad my husband finds me attractive after witnessing the birth of our child but bro I’m going to need you to calm down please. Your wife is going through a lot physically and emotinally and for me, my sex drive was non-exsistant until JR was finally sleeping through the night (8 months postpartum FYI) Be patient and understanding, your sex life will get back on track just give it time!

Brittany: “All in all just be there the whole step of the way! Mike stepped up way more than I could have ever imagined. I never really had to ask him to do anything he would just see what I needed or picked up on things. No matter what I knew I could count on him and know that I still can which is amazing and I’m beyond grateful!”

Jamie: “Making sure I had food, water, and a shower.”

Heather: “Checking in on my mental health and taking the baby in the middle of the night when I was about to have a mental breakdown (lol)- Also cooking and cleaning.”

Michaela: “Taking the baby when he got home so I could shower alone or brought me home my favorite candy one day just because he knew I was having a hard day.”

Lindsay:“- Asked if I wanted non-hospital food and went to get it
-Completely took care of our first child so I only had to worry about the new baby
-For night feeds, he would always change the baby's diaper before I nursed them. This was huge. He would then bring over the baby to me. It really helped me get comfortable before I had to go through the painful nursing in the beginning.
-Lastly, he was the communicator for our friends and family right away and the few days after birth. He texted and called everyone, including my family. It was so amazing. I had no desire to text, call etc and he was all over it.”

Rachel: “Night time early morning diapers.”

Emily: “Taking over making dinner, so I could nurse Claira,so we could eat together. If dinner was ready, he would either wait to eat with me or brought me my plate.”

Leslie: “Sat up with me at night even though I was breastfeeding and there wasn’t anything he could “do.”

Andrea: “Any help at night, be it changing a diaper or putting the baby back to bed after a feeding. Keeping my ice water filled and making meals. Also, just being supportive and comforting with all of the postpartum emotions/pains.”

Anna: “Jory helped me big time by changing the baby during the night when she woke up with was nice because I was able to get myself ready to feed her while he changed her. Then sometimes when she wouldn't want to go back to sleep, he rocked her while I went back to bed. That helped a lot since the boys got up at 5am. He also made dinner while I fed her so we can all eat together. He always made sure my water bottle was full or if I needed any snacks or pillows when I was with her on the couch. He really help out so much that first 2 months until I could get the hang of it all.”

Anna: “Justin would take the late night shift so I could sleep. He also did laundry during the first month after Lauren was home. He’d fill my water bottle all the time and get me food and snacks.”

Jill: “I second Lindsey with the communication. When I went in to have Natalie I had just finished a 13 hour shift (my water broke at work but that’s another story) so my phone was all but dead. I had a charger packed but I was really into focusing on my birth and then once I had her I never used my phone until we got home from the hospital. It was so nice to be unplugged and have someone else be the resource for communication. My husband coordinated the photographer coming to the hospital and our family.”

Maddy: “Luckily my husband is a “baby guy” and is incredible 🙏🏻 A basic rule of thumb: do things without having to be asked, YOU need to do the asking. Ask if she’s okay, ask if she needs things, ask if there’s a way you can help that isn’t obvious. Be extra extra mindful of things that need done around the house (this is hard for men 😂) and do them without being asked. Anytime there’s a task involving the baby, make it easier for her! Breastfeeding? Stay up with her at night, get her water and snacks. Diaper blowout? Grab a new outfit and the wipes. Pack the diaper bag. Warm the car. Change the sheets after a huge spit up. All these things matter more than it seems!
Remember and have compassion for the fact that your wife or gf is recovering from MAJOR trauma to her body, making sure the baby is happy and healthy every second of the day (and worrying that they’re not), all while having zero control over a HUGE wave of emotions that will come and go.
We mamas know it’s a hard adjustment for dad, too...but man up and pick up alllllll the slack and then some in the beginning. You’ll get your break someday, right now she needs it!”

Amy: “Helping change diapers!”

Jennifer: “Helped change diapers, and do the early morning/middle of the night feedings, and did household chores like grocery shopping and laundry!!! He also picked up a second job that he hated just to help out more financially!”

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